In the Media

Husband & Wife Sentenced for Fraudulent Work Expenses made at Law Firm

PUBLISHED March 2, 2012

Sue Patten, Head of the CPS Central Fraud Group said: ?Zakia Sharif not only financially abused her role as the director of administration at the law firm where she worked, but she acquired her post by deception in the first place. Having lied about her qualifications on her CV, Zakia Sharif went on to dishonestly claim in excess of ?100,000 from her employers. Some of these expenses claims were used to pay for luxury items including cosmetic treatments, designer stationary, electrical goods and even a memorabilia photograph of Muhammad Ali. ?Sharif also claimed for trips abroad with partner of the firm Graham Simkin. What no one at the firm knew was that in 2007 Sharif married Simkin, and was therefore claiming for what were holidays with her husband. In turn, he obtained more than ?100,000 from privately billing clients and claims for hospitality with clients, yet many of those he claimed to have wined and dined he never actually entertained. ?Fraud is always a serious offence. But abusing a position of trust in this way makes it particularly serious.? Background Information Zakia Sharif and Graham Simkin were sentenced to 16 months each at the Old Bailey on 2 March 2012. Zakia Sharif and Graham Simkin worked for the London office of US law firm Fulbright & Jarworski LLP between 2004 and 2008. On her CV, Sharif claimed to have both an LLB and LLM from King?s College University in London. She was therefore found to have fraudulently claimed more than ?200,000 in net salary. Simkin pleaded guilty to three counts of false accounting and one count of fraud by abuse of position on 9 January 2012. Sharif pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, three counts of false accounting and one count of fraud by false representation on 11 January 2012.